Box of Light

25-27 October at the Library of Birmingham

Before the cinema, there was the magic lantern; a fabulous device that used glass slides to create moving spectacles and transport audiences around the world. Birmingham was at the centre of this pre-cinema world, producing thousands of lanterns for export as well as pioneering the flipbook and an early form of celluloid. Box of Light will celebrate this fertile period with a weekend of performances, screenings and activities for all ages, including:

Box of Light Variety Show
An evening of edification and entertainment featuring acclaimed lanternist Professor Heard and the Physioscope, a Victorian experiment recreated for the first time in a century by Roderick MacLachlan. The finale of the show is provided by French artist Julien Maire, whose Open Core performance includes a live dissection of a video projector;

The Icebook
Beautifully intimate performance by Bristol-based duo Kristin and Davy Maguire, using miniature projections and paper cut-outs;

Mirror Mirror
Free family workshops where you can create your own lantern slides and experiment with colour projections;

Plus numerous other talks and screenings, zoetrope activities, and a walking tour of some key locations in Birmingham’s pre-cinema history. Artist Scott Johnston (Film Ficciones) will also be in residence throughout, mining the short stories of Washington Irving and Edgar Allen Poe to create a film a day.

Next door at Birmingham REP you can find a couple of pieces by Little Earthquake and Ben Pacey specially commissioned for Box of Light. Both are free, and both will run throughout the weekend.

Box of Light is just one part of the Discovery Season, celebrating the opening of the Library of Birmingham. Produced and curated by Capsule, this exciting programme of exhibitions, events and activities will run from Tuesday 3 September until 31 December 2013. It also coincides with the quadrennial convention of the Magic Lantern Society, which will take place over the same weekend as Box of Light.

Download the Box of Light leaflet here.
(Please note the leaflet includes a couple of typos: the Floor 3 events are actually happening on Floor 1, and the Mitchell and Kenyon screening is on Sunday not Saturday.)

Unexpected Journeys – A Life in Lanterns from Prime Objective on Vimeo.

The Icebook (HD) from Davy and Kristin McGuire on Vimeo.

Tags: , , , , ,